Oral glutamine decreases bacterial translocation and improves survival in experimental gut-origin sepsis

L. Gianotti, J. W. Alexander, R. Gennari, T. Pyles, G. F. Babcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


Background: Glutamine has been shown to be an important dietary component for the maintenance of gut metabolism. The purpose of this study was to assess the potential benefit of glutamine-enriched diets on experimental gut- derived sepsis. Methods: BALB/c mice were fed either 2% glutamine- supplemented or 1% glycine-supplemented (near-isonitrogenous control) AIN- 76A diets. Control mice received either nonsupplemented AIN-76A or regular Purina Rodent Laboratory Mouse Chow 5001 diets. After 10 days of feeding, the mice were transfused with allogeneic blood (from C3H/HeJ mice), and the feeding protocols were continued for an additional 5 days. The mice then underwent gavage with 1010 Escherichia coli labeled with either indium-111 oxine or [14C] glucose followed immediately by a 20% burn injury. Some mice were observed 10 days postburn for survival rates. Others were killed 4 hours after burn, and the mesenteric lymph nodes, liver, and spleen were harvested to determine radionuclide and bacterial colony counts. The percentages of viable (translocated E coli were also calculated. Results: Mice fed glutamine-enriched diets had a lower degree of translocation (as measured by both radionuclide and bacterial counts) to the tissues than did the other groups and had an improvement in the ability to kill translocated E coli (as measured by the percentage of viable bacteria). Survival was significantly higher in the group fed 2% glutamine (81%) compared with the groups fed 1% glycine (36%), AIN-76A (35%), and Purina Rodent Laboratory Mouse Chow 5001 (36%) diets (p < .004). Conclusions: Glutamine-supplemented enteral diets may exert important benefits in preventing gut-origin sepsis after trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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